What is Fear Stealing from You?

What is Fear Stealing from You

When​ ​you​ ​leave​ ​your​ ​house​ ​for​ ​vacation,​ ​or​ ​even​ ​for​ ​the​ ​day,​ ​you lock​ ​your​ ​doors​ ​and​ ​windows.​ ​Maybe​ ​you​ ​set​ ​an​ ​alarm.​ ​You​ ​lock​ ​your​ ​car when​ ​you​ ​get​ ​out​ ​of​ ​it,​ ​secure​ ​your​ ​bike​ ​to​ ​a​ ​rack,​ ​you​ ​keep​ ​your​ ​valuables​ ​in a​ ​safe,​ ​your​ ​money​ ​in​ ​a​ ​bank.​ ​We​ ​all​ ​take​ ​steps​ ​and​ ​put​ ​practices​ ​in​ ​place​ ​to keep​ ​our​ ​physical​ ​belongings​ ​safe​ ​from​ ​those​ ​who​ ​might​ ​steal​ ​them.​ ​It​ ​seems so​ ​obvious,​ ​why​ ​even​ ​point​ ​it​ ​out?​ ​It’s​ ​a​ ​fact​ ​of​ ​life​ ​and​ ​it’s​ ​a​ ​fact​ ​of​ ​life because​ ​the​ ​alternative​ ​would​ ​be​ ​to​ ​just​ ​let​ ​someone​ ​take​ ​your​ ​stuff.

We​ ​would​ ​never​ ​consciously​ ​allow​ ​anyone​ ​to​ ​steal​ ​from​ ​us.​ ​Yet​ ​we allow​ ​our​ ​fears​ ​to​ ​steal​ ​from​ ​us​ ​​all​ ​the​ ​time​.

Fear​ ​robs​ ​us​ ​of​ ​our​ ​joy,​ ​our​ ​peace,​ ​and​ ​our​ ​dreams.​ ​It​ ​stops​ ​us​ ​in​ ​our tracks,​ ​it​ ​holds​ ​us​ ​back,​ ​it​ ​keeps​ ​us​ ​from​ ​speaking,​ ​it​ ​keeps​ ​us​ ​from​ ​acting,​ ​it blinds​ ​us.​ ​And​ ​it​ ​works​ ​in​ ​ways​ ​to​ ​keep​ ​us​ ​small.​ ​It​ ​coaxes​ ​us​ ​into​ ​allowing​ ​it to​ ​steal​ ​one​ ​of​ ​our​ ​most​ ​precious​ ​possessions:​ ​our​ ​potential.

Think​ ​of​ ​a​ ​time​ ​when​ ​you​ ​had​ ​an​ ​idea,​ ​you​ ​had​ ​a​ ​goal​ ​or​ ​a​ ​dream.​ ​You set​ ​out​ ​to​ ​bring​ ​it​ ​to​ ​fruition,​ ​but​ ​then​ ​something​ ​stopped​ ​you.​ ​Maybe​ ​it​ ​was something​ ​you​ ​strongly​ ​felt​ ​you​ ​needed​ ​to​ ​do,​ ​but​ ​when​ ​the​ ​time​ ​came,​ ​you just​ ​didn’t​ ​do​ ​it.

What​ ​were​ ​the​ ​circumstances?​ ​What​ ​were​ ​your​ ​thoughts?​ ​Take​ ​a moment​ ​and​ ​really​ ​think​ ​about​ ​it.​ ​I​ ​guarantee​ ​if​ ​you​ ​follow​ ​the​ ​trail​ ​deep enough​ ​you​ ​will​ ​find​ ​that​ ​what​ ​stopped​ ​you​ ​in​ ​those​ ​moments​ ​was​ ​fear. Nothing​ ​more.

We​ ​would​ ​like​ ​to​ ​make​ ​our​ ​inaction​ ​about​ ​other​ ​things,​ ​using​ ​excuses involving​ ​bad​ ​timing,​ ​other​ ​people,​ ​or​ ​less​ ​than​ ​optimal​ ​circumstances.​ ​The cause​ ​of​ ​inaction​ ​almost​ ​every​ ​time​ ​is​ ​fear.​ ​This​ ​may​ ​be​ ​hard​ ​to​ ​hear​, ​but​ ​I encourage​ ​you​ ​to​ ​see​ ​it​ ​as​ ​a​ ​relief.​ ​If​ ​your​ ​fear​ ​is​ ​the​ ​only​ ​thing​ ​holding​ ​you back​ ​and​ ​sabotaging​ ​your​ ​growth,​ ​that​ ​means​ ​that​ ​all​ ​of​ ​the​ ​power​ ​to​ ​change it​ ​is​ ​in​ ​your​ ​hands​ ​right​ ​now.

How​ ​can​ ​you​ ​take​ ​immediate​ ​action?​ ​It​ ​begins​ ​with​ ​shifting​ ​our consciousness.

Kabbalistically,​ ​we​ ​all​ ​have​ ​dormant​ ​forces​ ​within​ ​us,​ ​both​ ​positive and​ ​negative,​ ​and​ ​these​ ​forces​ ​are​ ​awakened​ ​depending​ ​on​ ​our consciousness.​ ​Fear,​ ​and​ ​all​ ​other​ ​negative​ ​emotions,​ ​comes​ ​from​ ​the negative​ ​side.​ ​Kabbalah​ ​teaches​ ​that​ ​all​ ​of​ ​us​ ​are​ ​composed​ ​of​ ​pure​ ​Light, and​ ​our​ ​greatest​ ​strengths​ ​and​ ​qualities​ ​arise​ ​from​ ​the​ ​positive​ ​side.​ ​In​ ​order for​ ​there​ ​to​ ​be​ ​a​ ​positive​ ​side,​ ​a​ ​negative​ ​side​ ​must​ ​also​ ​exist.​ ​Without​ ​this duality,​ ​we​ ​would​ ​have​ ​no​ ​way​ ​to​ ​experience​ ​growth​ ​or​ ​realize​ ​our​ ​potential. However,​ ​when​ ​we​ ​become​ ​too​ ​mired,​ ​often​ ​unconsciously,​ ​in​ ​the​ ​negative side,​ ​we​ ​hinder​ ​our​ ​full​ ​experience​ ​of​ ​life.

When​ ​we​ ​bring​ ​consciousness​ ​to​ ​our​ ​fears​ ​we​ ​are​ ​able​ ​to​ ​make​ ​new, proactive​ ​choices.​ ​When​ ​we​ ​think​ ​a​ ​positive​ ​thought​ ​or​ ​we​ ​focus​ ​on something​ ​positive,​ ​we​ ​awaken​ ​those​ ​dormant​ ​forces​ ​of​ ​positivity​ ​within​ ​us. Every​ ​single​ ​thought,​ ​word,​ ​and​ ​action​ ​is​ ​a​ ​manifestation​ ​of​ ​one​ ​of​ ​the​ ​two forces​ ​and​ ​positivity​ ​will​ ​outweigh​ ​the​ ​negativity​ ​if​ ​we​ ​feed​ ​it.​ ​Whichever side​ ​you​ ​feed,​ ​grows.

Let’s​ ​put​ ​this​ ​into​ ​practice​ ​using​ ​the​ ​example​ ​of​ ​someone​ ​who​ ​wants to​ ​write​ ​a​ ​memoir.​ ​The​ ​idea​ ​has​ ​been​ ​circling​ ​their​ ​brain​ ​for​ ​months,​ ​maybe even​ ​years,​ ​but​ ​every​ ​time​ ​they​ ​make​ ​plans​ ​to​ ​write​ ​some​ ​pages​ ​they​ ​find themselves​ ​distracted.​ ​Maybe​ ​they​ ​do​ ​get​ ​a​ ​few​ ​pages​ ​out​ ​but​ ​decide​ ​that those​ ​pages​ ​are​ ​terrible​ ​and​ ​start​ ​over.​ ​Maybe​ ​they​ ​have​ ​actually​ ​finished​ ​the 200-page​ ​manuscript​ ​and​ ​its​ ​been​ ​gathering​ ​dust.​ ​Their​ ​thoughts​ ​look​ ​like this:

I​ ​can’t​ ​do​ ​this​ ​successfully.
I’m​ ​not​ ​even​ ​a​ ​writer.
Who​ ​is​ ​going​ ​to​ ​care​ ​about​ ​my​ ​story?
I​ ​don’t​ ​know​ ​the​ ​first​ ​thing​ ​about​ ​getting​ ​published.

I’ll​ ​work​ ​on​ ​it​ ​tomorrow.

These​ ​thoughts​ ​are​ ​all​ ​fear-based​ ​and​ ​identifying​ ​them​ ​as​ ​fear​ ​and nothing​ ​more​ ​is​ ​the​ ​first,​ ​most​ ​powerful,​ ​step.​ ​From​ ​here,​ ​we​ ​can​ ​take​ ​the negative​ ​thoughts​ ​and,​ ​bringing​ ​our​ ​consciousness​ ​to​ ​them,​ ​can​ ​infuse​ ​them with​ ​positivity​ ​and​ ​then,​ ​positive​ ​action.

I​ ​can​ ​do​ ​this.
I’ll​ ​take​ ​a​ ​writing​ ​class​ ​to​ ​hone​ ​my​ ​skills.
Even​ ​if​ ​my​ ​story​ ​helps​ ​one​ ​person​ ​it​ ​will​ ​be​ ​worth​ ​it.
I​ ​could​ ​self-publish.
I​ ​only​ ​have​ ​thirty​ ​available​ ​minutes​ ​today,​ ​but​ ​I’ll​ ​use​ ​them​ ​to​ ​write.

Notice​ ​how​ ​the​ ​second​ ​set​ ​of​ ​thoughts​ ​feel​ ​different.​ ​They​ ​are​ ​all simple​ ​but​ ​the​ ​energy​ ​in​ ​them​ ​is​ ​positive​ ​and​ ​affirming.​ ​Whatever​ ​your​ ​goal is,​ ​whatever​ ​you​ ​have​ ​on​ ​your​ ​to-do​ ​list,​ ​whatever​ ​it​ ​is​ ​that​ ​you​ ​need​ ​to​ ​do but​ ​can’t​ ​find​ ​a​ ​way​ ​to​ ​do,​ ​try​ ​this​ ​exercise.

Edmund​ ​Burke,​ ​an​ ​Irish​ ​statesman​ ​and​ ​philosopher,​ ​stated​ ​it perfectly:​ ​“No​ ​passion​ ​so​ ​effectually​ ​robs​ ​the​ ​mind​ ​of​ ​all​ ​its​ ​powers​ ​of​ ​acting and​ ​reasoning​ ​as​ ​fear.”

Fear​ ​does​ ​not​ ​serve​ ​us.​ ​It​ ​doesn’t​ ​come​ ​from​ ​logic,​ ​and​ ​it​ ​isn’t​ ​based​ ​in reality.​ ​It​ ​masquerades​ ​as​ ​so​ ​many​ ​different​ ​things​ ​and​ ​lays​ ​waste​ ​to​ ​so many​ ​of​ ​our​ ​ambitions.​ ​It​ ​very​ ​literally​ ​robs​ ​you​ ​of​ ​your​ ​joy.​ ​Luckily,​ ​it’s only​ ​source​ ​of​ ​life​ ​is​ ​YOU.​ ​The​ ​moment​ ​you​ ​catch​ ​a​ ​thought​ ​and​ ​call​ ​it​ ​out as​ ​fear​ ​that​ ​fear​ ​has​ ​already​ ​begun​ ​to​ ​unravel.​ ​You​ ​have​ ​become​ ​your​ ​own security​ ​system,​ ​finding​ ​the​ ​fear​ ​and​ ​sounding​ ​the​ ​alarm.

Thought​ ​into​ ​Action

What​ ​fears​ ​are​ ​robbing​ ​you?​ ​Write​ ​down​ ​a​ ​few​ ​projects​ ​or​ ​goals​ ​you have​ ​yet​ ​to​ ​accomplish​ ​and​ ​then​ ​write​ ​down​ ​the​ ​thoughts​ ​that​ ​arise​ ​when you​ ​bring​ ​them​ ​into​ ​your​ ​mind.​ ​Are​ ​they​ ​fearful?​ ​If​ ​so,​ ​shine​ ​the​ ​light​ ​on them,​ ​turn​ ​them​ ​around,​ ​and​ ​see​ ​where​ ​you​ ​can​ ​start​ ​taking​ ​action!


Monica Berg serves as Chief Communications Officer for Kabbalah Centre International and is the author of Fear is Not An Option. To learn more about her, link here.


What do you think?

This field cannot be blank
Mina Novian
By Mina Novian
15 - Community Member
6 years ago

OMG what a powerful blog! I loved reading it. It literally made me realize how many times in the day I procrastinate all the things I truly have a passion and love for. Thank you Monica Berg for your wisdom to inspire us to be the best versions of ourselves. I just finished reading Monica's book "Fear is Not an Option" and I can't wait to share this love and wisdom to all the people I care for.

Do you have a story to tell?

If you'd like to contribute to Perspectives, please review our submission guidelines.

View The Contributors' Guide